Congenital anomalies reference centre

Who are we?

Congenital anomalies reference centre encompasses a multidisciplinary team of highly specialised doctors from fields of paediatric surgery, neonatology, genetics, gastroenterology, radiology and others. It is a part of Coordinating Centre for Children’s Rare Diseases at Vilnius University Children’s Hospital, an affiliate of Vilnius University Hospital Santaros Klinikos (VUH SK).

VUH SK is one of the two main tertiary level University Hospitals in Lithuania encompassing all the main medical specialties and ensuring multidisciplinary and often individualized care for patients with congenital anomalies. VUH SK, being the only institution in the country having capabilities to provide etiological diagnostics of a vast range of rare genetic congenital malformations/ intellectual disabilities syndromes and one of the main institutions providing complex tertiary level treatments for patients with malformations ensures highly specialized healthcare services for the whole population of Lithuania in certain areas including most congenital malformations.  Our congenital anomalies centre not only provides prenatal and postnatal diagnostics, surgical treatment and long-term follow-up for these patients, but also serves as a coordinating and referring centre.


What makes us special?


Our congenital malformation reference centre is the largest centre in Lithuania and one of the largest amongst Baltic States. Specialists, working at the centre, have the largest experience of treating congenital anomalies such as oesophageal atresia, in Lithuania. The centre plays a major role in gathering knowledge and expertise and ensuring provision of high-quality healthcare services for patients with rare congenital malformations at a regional and national level.


Types of services provided by the centre and managed conditions

Care of patients with congenital malformations is organized according to the nature of their disease and in accordance with the national regulations for healthcare provision. In Lithuania, highly specialized interventions and treatments are mostly provided in two tertiary University hospitals. VUH SK is one of them and the primary centre for treatment of congenital malformations. VUH SK neonatal department treats around 949 patients in the intensive care unit per year and performs almost 7000 outpatient consultations. We oversee an average of 75 neonatal surgery cases per year. Due to the availability of other reference centres in our hospital, we can assure a high level of specialized diagnostic/treatment interventions for our patients.

Activities of our reference centre in the area of rare congenital malformations include:

  1. Multidisciplinary clinical services including general (laboratory, imaging, electrophysiological tests, etc.)  and specialized (genetic and specialized laboratory, pathohistological, specialized prenatal diagnostics, symptomatic and specific treatments (including surgical, intensive care, complication treatment, rehabilitation), long-term management and follow-up;
  2. Education, teaching and training including pre-graduate, graduate and post-graduate levels, and continuing medical education at a national and international level;
  3. Research activities;
  4. Support for and collaboration with patient organizations;
  5. Regular surveillance and monitoring of quality and safety measures of clinical services provided;
  6. Guideline development and advisory services for medical specialists involved in patient care;
  7. Educative/political/public activities and measures in the area.


Conditions, managed at the centre:

  • Congenital airway tract anomalies (tracheal, bronchial, lung and etc.);
  • Congenital gastrointestinal tract anomalies (oesophageal or intestinal atresias, anorectal malformations, atresia of the biliary system and etc.)
  • Congenital diaphragmatic hernia
  • Rare congenital malformations of the abdominal wall (gastroschisis and omphalocele);


International relations

Congenital anomalies reference centre actively participates in a range of international cooperation projects with foreign hospitals and universities. In order to improve and deepen understanding of rare congenital anomalies, the centre participates in a range of scientific research. Currently, the centre is participating in a large, multi-centre GlobalPaedSurg study, coordinated by King‘s College (London, UK) hospital.

Members of the centre regularly attend and give lectures in international conferences.


Healthcare professionals in the multidisciplinary team of the congenital anomalies reference centre

Head of the centre- M.D. Dr. Arūnas Strumila


Administrator – M.D. (senior resident) Rūta Vilija Dagilytė


Paediatric surgeons:

M.D. Dr. P. Gurskas


Paediatric urologists

Prof. G. Verkauskas

M.D. Dr. V. Bilius



M.D. Dr. A. Liubšys

M.D. R. Vaitkevičienė

And other specialised staff of VUH SK



Coordinator of the center: Arūnas Strumila


Tel: +370 65254868